Wilhelm Reich

(1897 born in Austria-1957 died in Maine)

  • Psychoanalytic Theorist
  • Protégé of Sigmund Freud

Contributions include ideas about character formation, emotional armoring, the latent negative transference, stasis anxiety, orgastic potency, the formation of the fascist personality, and defense mechanisms.

Criticized for straying from psychoanalysis into pseudo-scientific terrain with his explorations into bions, the cancer biopathy, and cosmic orgone energy. Thought by some to have become psychotic.

Died in an American prison on dubious charges brought by the federal government.

Wilhelm Reich — Character Defenses

We tend to have personality characteristics of each defense. Read them and determine which two or three describe your personality the best.


First Defense—Sensitive / often psychic / brilliant, innovative thinkers / imaginative / artists / active fantasy life / extremely perceptive / creative / spiritual / good at understanding the world symbolically / person can see the big picture and be diplomatic

Second Defense—Interested in others / tuned in to other's needs / easy to trust, talk to / unthreatening / relates easily to others / good at helping professions / affectionate / expresses feelings easily except anger

Third Defense—Good leaders / manage people well / ability to be in public view / good with words / powerful speakers / charismatic / creative / versatile / generous / charming / entertaining / cool under fire / perceptive

Fourth Defense—Reliable / dependable / persevering / hard workers / loyal / thorough / capable of great love

Fifth Defense—High achievers / successful / fast workers / get things done / responsible / down to earth / self-confident / exciting to be with

Sixth Defense—Sensitive / flexible / very feeling / empathetic / can be very loving / stimulating to be with / enthusiastic / spontaneous / good actors and actresses